100 Family Friendly & (Mostly) Free Quality Time Ideas

Spending time as a family has proven health benefits and strengthens your family’s bond. During the recession, people are scaling back on everything including outings with family and friends, but you don’t have to cut back entirely. Try these 100 fun, healthy and (mostly) free activities that you can do with your family today. Special thanks to Kathleen Baker for this awesome list that will leave us all with no excuses as to why we can’t spend some QT with the fam. Time isn’t always money….  😉

  1. Get some munchies together and go on a picnic at a local park.
  2. Go to a park and play catch or frisbee with your kids.
  3. If you are near a beach, head to the coast for a day. Check into local lakes for those not near a beach area.
  4. Take those rusty bicycles out and go for a ride.
  5. Stay up late and watch the stars. Make some microwave s’mores.
  6. Lay down a blanket and watch the clouds. See who can find the most shapes.
  7. Go for a swim in the city pool.
  8. Make a homemade picture album with construction paper, glue and colored yarn to hold the paper together like a book. Check out this site for easy instructions: Mother’s Day World
  9. Head down to a local library and check out a few books.
  10. Volunteer at a local Humane Society and walk dogs.
  11. If dogs aren’t your thing, try volunteering at a nursing home. You never know who may have a story that could captivate your children’s attention.
  12. Play Hangman or Tic-Tac-Toe.
  13. Play an old-fashioned game of hide n’ seek or tag.
  14. Make a fort of bed sheets.
  15. Put together a scavenger hunt with items from your home and see who finds everything on the list the fastest.
  16. Draw a mural together on the sidewalk with chalk.
  17. Plant a few flowers together in our own garden or at a park.
  18. Bake a cake or delicious desert from scratch.
  19. Attend a local free event in your area. Check with the Parks and Recreation Department to see what’s available.
  20. Play dress up with your kids and have a fashion show.
  21. Cook dinner together.
  22. Have a dance party in the living room with old 50s tunes.
  23. Camp out in the family room for a fun pajama party.
  24. Make homemade cards for the next holiday or for upcoming birthdays.
  25. Go to a local fireworks show or an annual Air Force flight show.
  26. Pick a night and have family board game night with the games you already own, or pick some up from a second hand store.
  27. Watch old home movies or dig up pictures to add to your homemade album.
  28. Bird watch at a local park.
  29. Take a nature hike.
  30. Play a game charades.
  31. Watch some old movies.
  32. Go camping the old-fashioned way with a tent and sleeping bags.
  33. Research your family history.
  34. Call the grandparents on a conference call or speaker phone so everyone can talk.
  35. Have a closet clean up party. Then donate old items.
  36. Find out about your town or city’s history.
  37. Learn the names of all the nation’s presidents, past and present.
  38. Play touch football.
  39. Play H.O.R.S.E.
  40. Climb a tree, but be careful!
  41. Have a tea party.
  42. Visit a museum for a quick history lesson.
  43. Go fishing if you already own rods and reels. Dig your own worms.
  44. Make some lemonade and freeze it for a cold, tasty treat.
  45. Read a book out loud and take turns reading.
  46. Or, rent a book on tape from the library and listen to it instead of watching television.
  47. Play four square.
  48. Make homemade bird feeders with pine cones, peanut butter and string. Spread the peanut butter all over the pine cone, and hang it from a tree branch in your yard.
  49. Check into local high school or college plays or musicals. Attend one that is family friendly.
  50. Go to the zoo if it’s free or relatively inexpensive.
  51. Visit a planetarium or space center.
  52. Go to dinner on a kid’s eat free night.
  53. Learn about the animal kingdom. Check out a book on animals or look up some information on the Web for children.
  54. Learn to juggle.
  55. Catch some fireflies on summer nights. Let them go afterwards.
  56. Find some free crafts and art ideas on the Web. Download them and print for instant fun crafting ideas.
  57. Write letters to extended family members.
  58. Volunteer to clean up a park or wildlife area.
  59. Learn sign language. Get your start here.
  60. Invite over some neighbors for a family potluck dinner night.
  61. Teach kids about budgeting so they learn money management skills early.
  62. Play free online games.
  63. Call your local craft supply store, i.e. Michael’s, and see if they host any kid’s craft nights.
  64. Check into story times at local bookstores as well. Barnes and Noble usually hosts a story time program for children at most stores.
  65. Go to a Little League game.
  66. Keep an eye out for discounted amusement park days or nights. During slow seasons, amusement parks will sometimes have a free admission for kids day.
  67. Jump rope. Try double Dutch.
  68. Blow bubbles with dish soap.
  69. Make a recycling bin and teach children what to recycle.
  70. Make Playdough and add food coloring.
  71. Visit Crayola.com for free coloring pages and craft ideas.
  72. Call your local Home Depot and ask about the free kids’ workshops.
  73. Make a kite and try to fly it on a windy day.
  74. Make a family journal and record special events.
  75. Go to free community parades.
  76. Set up a lemonade stand and donate the money earned from selling lemonade. Or give it away for free.
  77. Volunteer at a food bank.
  78. Make paper airplanes. Have an award for the airplane that flies the furthest.
  79. Make a time capsule.
  80. Have family story time. Tell a story about your day or life. Have your children tell you what they want to be when they grow up.
  81. Practice writing in cursive.
  82. Teach your children how to read a map.
  83. Look up celebrity and famous people’s birthdays that were born on the same day as each member of your family.
  84. Go on a bug hunt. See what types of bugs can be found in your yard, and look them up. Discuss the names of the insects with your children.
  85. Visit an aquarium. Call ahead to check on free admission nights or discounts.
  86. Learn about a different culture.
  87. Take a scenic drive or drive around and look at Christmas lights during the holiday season.
  88. Speaking of holidays, got snow? Make a snowman or snow angels.
  89. Make a family favorite recipe book. Give it out as gifts.
  90. Attend a classic car show.
  91. Encourage your children to join a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop. Go to the meetings with your kids or be a troop leader.
  92. Watch an educational television program and then talk about what you’ve learned.
  93. Draw your own cartoons.
  94. Play hot potato.
  95. Dry flowers by placing them in the pages of heavy books. Wait a month, and take a look at how the flowers turned out.
  96. Work a puzzle together.
  97. Take photographs with a digital camera and print them.
  98. Have breakfast for dinner.
  99. Play with your children’s toys with them.
  100. Go on a nature walk at an arboretum or nature park. Talk about the different flowers and trees you found there.
4 replies
  1. monique
    monique says:

    Have NOT missed a family
    ly night with my children in over 20yrs…amazed to see a few newbies!!!!!…Thx!

  2. YUMMommy
    YUMMommy says:

    I saw some great ideas that I will trying with my family. A great way to pass the summer.

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